Archive for December, 2011
In October of 2010, I wrote about a new scam in the form of fake LinkedIn invitations that appeared, at first glance, to be genuine. (See this post.) It looks as though the scam has resurfaced, in a somewhat different form. Over the past several days, I’ve received a number of notifications that someone on LinkedIn has sent me a message. (“So-and-So sent you a message via LinkedIn.”) However, it’s obvious that the notifications aren’t legitimate.
For one thing, many of the messages have arrived at an e-mail address that I don’t use on LinkedIn. For another, unlike every genuine notification I’ve ever received from LinkedIn, they don’t include the text of the ostensible message. Instead, they instruct the recipient to click on a link in order to read the supposed message. That’s not a good idea, at least with respect to messages from people you don’t know and/or that you aren’t expecting.
When I place the mouse pointer over one of the links, I can see the “true” URL, which makes it readily apparently that the links are not what they appear to be — and would take me somewhere other than to my inbox on LinkedIn. (Note: That includes the link labeled “Adjust your message settings,” which purports to be a way of unsubscribing from unsolicited messages. It isn’t! Do NOT click it.)
But otherwise, the messages look more or less like the real thing. The color, layout, and even the copyright at the bottom appear similar to those used in legit LinkedIn notices. Clever, no?
Keep in mind that when someone actually sends you a message on LinkedIn, it will arrive in your LinkedIn mailbox. In other words, you should be able to read it from within your home page on LinkedIn. If you don’t see it there, it’s not the real thing.
I don’t know if clicking a link in one of the fake messages could infect your computer with a virus or other malware. For obvious reasons, I’m not willing to test, and you shouldn’t take chances, either. If the text of the message isn’t included, go ahead and delete the e-mail. (Remember that deleting a genuine message from your e-mail account won’t delete it from your inbox on LinkedIn.)
I’ll update this post if/when I find out more. In the meantime, it’s best to follow the time-tested advice, “Better safe than sorry.”
Those of you who are migrating from Word 2003 or earlier to one of the newer versions of Word (Word 2010 or Word 2007) might be somewhat intimidated by the new graphical user interface (GUI), consisting of a Ribbon with multiple “tabs.” Don’t let the redesigned GUI throw you!
There are multiple ways to master the mysteries of the Ribbon.
First, consider the functionality of each tab.
The File tab is like the old File menu on steroids. It contains all of the familiar commands for working with files (Open, Close, Save, Save As), even as it also gives you access to recently opened files and folders, the reconstituted Print / Print Preview command, the Word Options, and lots of other behind-the-scenes information.
The Home tab is where Microsoft put the majority of the commands you probably use most often. Those include commands for working with fonts, paragraph formatting options, styles, find and replace, and pasting. Keep in mind, incidentally, that many of the command groupings on the Ribbon include a dialog launcher–a diagonal arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the group–that you can click to open a traditional dialog box with full configuration choices.
Look on the Insert tab for objects you insert into a document: tables, headers and footers (yes, Microsoft finally realized that most people expect this feature to be under Insert, a more logical location than View), pictures, charts, text boxes, bookmarks, hyperlinks, and even other files (under Object, Text from File).
Page Layout contains commands for changing page formatting in Word. Essentially that means attributes such as page margins–as opposed to paragraph margins–plus page orientation and watermarks. Because Word requires you to insert a section break before you change the page layout, the Break drop-down appears on this tab as well.
Think of the References tab as the location of commands that allow you to refer to another part of your document, such as footnotes, Table of Contents, and Table of Authorities. That construct helps me differentiate between the References tab and the Review tab, which I tend to confuse.
By contrast, the Review tab is the place where you’ll find commands for features you’ll use to finalize the document before sending it outside your organization: spell-checking, comments, Track Changes, Compare Documents.
Mailings is pretty self-evident. That tab contains icons for envelopes and labels, as well as for starting a mailmerge.
The newer versions of Word offer context-sensitive tabs that appear only when you are performing certain tasks, such as setting up a header or footer, working in a table, or formatting an image. The Header and Footer Tools tab, which you’ll see when your cursor is within a header or footer editing screen, is useful for–among other things–inserting a page number code (or changing the page number format). The Table Tools tab, available only when your cursor is inside a table, is divided into two parts: one for changing the look of the table and the other for modifying the structure (adding or deleting rows/columns, changing the row height or column width, and so forth). In my experience, the Layout portion of the tab is the one you’ll use maybe 80% to 90% of the time.
In addition to these hints for understanding the new interface, you have at your disposal a number of other aids. These include:
- Mnemonics. Sometimes called KeyTips, this nifty tool in Word 2007 and Word 2010 refers to letters that pop up in the Ribbon when you press the Alt key. There are KeyTips for each tab as well as for commands within the tabs. Simply press a letter, or a combination of letters, to move to a particular tab and then press another KeyTip to activate a command on that tab.
- Keyboard Shortcuts. Power users of older versions of Word will be pleased to learn that most keyboard shortcuts from those versions still work in the newer versions of Word.
- Pop-Up Tips. When you position the mouse over an icon and let it hover there, you should see a tip that explains what that icon does and, in some cases, a keyboard shortcut. Some of the tips are fairly extensive.
- Right-Clicking. As in earlier versions of Word, right-clicking produces a context-sensitive pop-up menu–depending on where your cursor is when you right-click–designed to help you perform specific tasks.
- Customization of the QAT. In both newer versions of Word, you can move the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) below the ribbon so that it expands into a full-sized toolbar and add commands and/or groups of commands that you use regularly. Doing so will keep your favorite icons at your fingertips, regardless of what tab is at the forefront at any given time.
- Customization of the Ribbon. In Word 2007, you can’t customize the Ribbon without using a third-party tool or learning to edit XML. However, in Word 2010, it’s relatively easy to add custom tabs, groups, and/or commands, as well as to hide built-in tabs you don’t use. In fact, there are lots of ways to customize the Ribbon in Word 2010. Start by right-clicking within the Ribbon and choosing “Customize the Ribbon.” When the Word Options screen opens, press F1 for a Help screen that offers detailed instructions.
- Interactive Guides, Printable Command Lists, and Tutorials. Microsoft has made available a number of resources to help you locate commands in the newer versions of Word. There are interactive guides, self-paced tutorials, and downloadable command lists. (The command lists are formatted as Excel spreadsheets, so after downloading, open them into Excel, not Word. Then navigate to, and click, a worksheet tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet–each tab represents a particular menu in Word 2003–to see where the commands are located in the newer version of Word.)
For Word 2007, go here (and note the other links at the right side of the linked page): http://tinyurl.com/W2007Interact
Although the new Ribbon interface might seem daunting at first, there are lots of ways to make it more manageable. In particular, the tools outlined in this post can–and will–help tremendously to ease your transition from Word 2003 (or earlier) to one of the newer versions of Word.
 To turn off the KeyTips, either press the Alt key again (you might need to press it more than once, depending on the situation) or press the Esc key.
 There are a couple of ways to move the QAT below the ribbon. Either (a) right-click within the QAT and then click “Show the Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon” or (b) click the drop-down at the right end of the QAT, then click “Show the Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon.” To add icons to the QAT, either (a) right-click within the QAT and then click “Customize the Quick Access Toolbar” or (b) click the drop-down at the right end of the QAT, then click “Customize the Quick Access Toolbar.” Either method will open the Word Options.
From within the Word Options screen, change the “Choose commands from…” drop-down from “Popular” to “All commands.” Then scroll down within the command list, click to select a feature, and click the “Add” button. Continue until you have added all the icons you want (you can add more later if you like). Note that you can click an icon you’ve added, then click the Up arrow to move it to the left on the QAT, or click the Down arrow to move it to the right. When you’ve finished, be sure to click “OK” at the lower right-hand corner of the Options screen to save your changes.
Every good wish to my readers for a joyous, festive, and cozy season — whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Divali, Kwanzaa, or some other holiday! Stay warm and safe (use extra care while traveling), and enjoy the company of family and friends.
And may you and your loved ones experience good health, financial security, and happiness in 2012. I hope the year surpasses your fondest dreams.
As always, thanks to my loyal readers, as well as to my wonderful clients, customers, colleagues, employers, sponsors, boosters, friends, family, and the countless others who have made this year both pleasurable and successful for me. I value each and every one of you tremendously.
As a quick aside, some changes are afoot with respect to the availability (and pricing) of my books on Amazon, starting in January of 2012. I will add another post soon that explains the situation. Regardless, the books will remain available for purchase on Lulu.com, and I’m able to offer a discount to people who buy directly from Lulu.
But enough about that for now. This is a time for festivity, bonding, rituals, laughter, love, appreciation, and putting aside daily cares.
The Snipping Tool is a handy-dandy little Windows 7 utility that makes it easy to take screenshots. You can use it to capture a window (including the full screen), a dialog box, or pretty much any portion of the screen. It even lets you select an oddly shaped item by drawing freehand with the mouse pointer.
In addition to the sheer coolness factor — it’s fun to use! — the Snipping Tool has practical uses. People often need to take screenshots of error messages to send to their IT departments for help in diagnosing a problem. Although the utility is much more limited than a dedicated screen-capture program such as SnagIt®, it works well for simple everyday tasks.
One of the trickier aspects of using the Snipping Tool has been figuring out how to take screenshots of open menus. Ordinarily, if you open the menu first, it closes when you launch the Snipping Tool. If you open the Snipping Tool first, you can’t click the menu to view it.
What to do? In a recent Internet exchange on this topic, a Microsoft Support Engineer suggested a solution that involved using OneNote in conjunction with the Snipping Tool. But, as it turns out, that’s not necessary. According to a Microsoft Knowledge Base article, you can take a screenshot of an open menu by doing the following:
- Open the Snipping Tool.
- Press the Esc key.
- Next, open the menu / submenu you want to capture in a screenshot.
- Press Ctrl PrtScr (this is an essential step!).
- When the Snipping Tool reappears, click the arrow to the right of the label “New” and choose a method for capturing the screenshot. Most likely you will use Rectangle — or possibly, Free Form.
- Click and drag around the menu to create the screenshot.
- From within the Snipping Tool window, you can save the image to your hard drive (as a JPEG, a GIF, a PNG, or an HTML file), e-mail it, or copy it and then paste it into your word processing program. (If you choose, you can mark up the image with a pen or highlighter beforehand.)
In my tests, this method worked quite well to capture a menu or submenu.
 I understand that there is a similar utility in Windows Vista. However, I’m not familiar enough with that version of Windows to know if the method described in this post will work with the Vista Snipping Tool. I’ve tested only with Windows 7.
 See Snipping Tool: frequently asked questions. Be sure to click “Show All” to see the entire article. The information about taking screenshots of open menus is located toward the end of the article.
 If you don’t see the Snipping Tool on the Start menu and you haven’t pinned it to the Taskbar, open the Start menu and click in the search box, then type “Snip.” Don’t press Enter to run the search; just let Windows do its thing. When Snipping Tool appears in the search results, you can left-click to launch the utility or, if you like, right-click and choose “Pin to Taskbar” or “Pin to Start menu” and then open the utility.